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What can help with doing a vaginal self-exam?

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You can do a vaginal self-exam anytime, but it’s best when you’re in between periods. Don’t use any vaginal creams or douches for at least 24 hours before doing the exam.

Here are some things that'll will help:

  • A hand-held mirror
  • A flashlight or other small light
  • A detailed diagram of the genitals with all the parts labeled (so you'll know what you’re looking at)
  • Pillows and a towel

From: What Is a Vaginal Self-Exam? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

The Family Planning Association of Northeast Ohio: “Vulvar Self-Examinations.”

University of California, Santa Barbara: “Female Genital Self-Exam.”

Mayo Clinic: “Pelvic exam: Why it’s done.”

Williams College: “Self-Exams for Women.”

UCLA Health: “Vulvar Cancer: Prevention.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Well-Woman Visit.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

SOURCES:

The Family Planning Association of Northeast Ohio: “Vulvar Self-Examinations.”

University of California, Santa Barbara: “Female Genital Self-Exam.”

Mayo Clinic: “Pelvic exam: Why it’s done.”

Williams College: “Self-Exams for Women.”

UCLA Health: “Vulvar Cancer: Prevention.”

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Well-Woman Visit.”

Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson on January 30, 2019

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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